Thursday, March 13, 2014

Art and Morality

The true creative spirit is an elusive and exclusive force which drives the Artist to produce a product. This may be literature, music, visual art, or performance. The creator does not produce his art form for the desire of monetary reward. The driving force of this passion comes from the highest of all motives, to express his/her visions of inner expression of truth to share with humanity.

To give without guile is something which the Arts are, in their truest form, an element which raises the viewer’s awareness to a place of new ways to view our world and have a fresh understanding if only for a moment in time. The monuments to house these are forms have throughout history been some of Mankind’s greatest achievements. The Pyramids, the Parthenon, the Louvre Museum, St. Peters to name just a few. Some of these edifies were built with slave labor some were not.

While Art Museums have long been a driving force in my life’s desire to visit and be inspired by, the actual building of these Cathedrals of Art have not been a concern of mine, but now it seems that the competition to build the biggest, the most expensive, and the most “beautiful” has come to be the antithesis of what Art is all about.

This morning in the Union Tribune the article Art and Labor Intersect, raised my awareness of the practices of the building of some of these new and magnificent structures for the Arts.

For me, this dichotomy of the higher ideals of Art and truth clash vehemently with the idea of the laborers of this new Guggenheim Museum in Abu Dhabi being exploited in the worst way by the elitist oligarchs building yet another crown jewel to display art made by artists who are not driven by the motive of conspicuous consumption. As Art makers, we should be a voice to say no to the conditions of the workers who are treated much as slaves to house the very art of our soul’s passion to not be displayed in such a place as this. We are the keepers of our own truth, and if that truth is compromised by where it is installed, and where it is used as a prize, then we have lost our moral rights as art makers to claim our own personal truths in our own Art.